The Hundred Dresses-Part 1: Summary and Analysis

The story, The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes is about a Polish immigrant, Wanda Petronski, who claims to have a hundred dresses. However, she wears the same dress everyday, and hence, is made fun of. 

The Hundred Dresses- Part 1 Summary

The Hundred Dresses is about a girl, Wanda Petronski and her classmates, primarily, Peggy and Madeline, who always made fun of her. Wanda was a Polish immigrant who came to America with her family. She went to a school with American students. Her classmates thought her name was strange and the weirdest in the classroom. It was because they had easy and common names.

Wanda was not as wealthy and always wore a faded blue dress to school. She was quiet and sat in the corner of the classroom. She claimed to have a hundred dresses and sixty shoes at her home. Penny and Maddie were the most famous girls in the school and people barely knew Wanda. The story is from the perspective of Maddie, the best friend of the person who primarily indulged in the taunting and teasing. 

 The two popular girls waited for Wanda before school, even if they were late. Maddie, herself was a poor girl and did not enjoy what Peggy put Wanda through. She was however afraid of putting up a protest because she did not want to be a target. She wanted Peggy to not make fun of Wanda but could not find the courage to do that. She was afraid of losing her best friend. Peggy never intentionally hurt Wanda, but was just curious about the reason she lied about having a hundred dresses in her closet.

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The truth about the hundred dresses was revealed when they were given the results of a drawing competition. The room had a hundred drawings that showed different dresses, and each one was extremely beautiful. That day Wanda showed gher hundred dresses, all lined up, but in the classroom. Peggy and Maddie were awestruck and realised the reason and theory of a hundred dresses. They felt guilty about treating her badly.

 The Hundred Dresses- Part 1 Analysis

The story is about a Poish immigrant, Wanda Petronski who comes to America and attends school there. She is teased for how she looks and what she wears by Pegyy and Maddie. Her name is different from others. Everyone makes fun of her because of her uncommon name. Peggy and Maddie often made fun of her appearance and dress. Tired of all the remarks, she claimed to have a hundred dresses at home but wore the same faded blue dress to school. This made people tease her more.

Peggy and Maddie grew increasingly inquisitive about her dresses and wondered the reason she wore the same dress. As time passed, the duo did not miss any opportunity to tease Wanda. They waited for her before school. Wanda did not pay attention to it. Maddie was poor and did not support the teasing. She was afraid of objecting because she did not want to be subject to this. Peggy never wanted to hurt Wanda. She just wanted to know the reason behind her lying about her dresses.

There was a drawing and coloring contest in school. Wanda did not come to school for days. When the results were declared, Wanda won because she drew sketches of a hundred dresses. Everyone appreciated her creativity. The duo felt guilty for underestimating her talent and treating her badly. 

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The Hundred Dresses- Part 1 Theme

The Hundred Dresses is based on people who have discriminatory approaches and are judgemental. The Hundred Dresses reflects how one should not mistreat anyone simply because they are different. The story teaches everyone to never make fun of the unique differences of the people around us and make attempts to accept them for who they are.

The Hundred Dresses- Part 1 Character Sketch

Wanda was a gentle girl. She had immigrated to America from Poland with her family. She was often made fun of by her classmates because her name was different from others, and she was not treated well. She was quite poor, so she wore a faded blue dress to school and was always quiet. She had no friends and was quite lonely. She travelled from far and her feet were always covered with dry mud. She claimed to have a hundred dresses and was ridiculed for saying that. She presented the most beautiful drawings of some hundred dresses in the competition.

Maddie was a poor girl. She was Peggy’s best friend. She was not in support of treating Wanda poorly but was too afraid of losing her best friend. She was scared she would become the target. She helped Peggy as she ridiculed Wanda every day. They even waited for her before school and constantly taunted and made remarks about her dresses and how she looked.

Peggy was one of the most famous girls in the school. She ridiculed Wanda about her appearance and dressing. She was not trying to hurt her but was curious about her claim of a hundred dresses and sixty shoes. Maddie helped her throughout this. She was ashamed of herself when she saw how creative Wanda was.

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The Hundred Dresses- Part 1 Analysis Key Points

The Hundred Dresses is written by Eleanor Estes and is baked on the real life experience of the writer. It is about a Polish immigrant who went to America. She was teased by her classmates in school. The girl’s name is Wanda and she claims to have a hundred dresses. This caused her classmates to make fun of her because she came to school wearing the same dress. Everyone thought her name was funny because of how uncommon it was. The truth about her having a hundred dresses was revealed when she submitted a hundred varying drawings in a competition. There were a hundred dresses that she described. These dresses were absolutely beautiful and it made the girls who made fun of her feel quite ashamed.